The Creator of Oddworld, Lorne Lanning talks about his cancelled multiplayer arena title, Stranger Arena.
Many people thought that Stranger Arena was an HD remake of the popular game, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, to which he responded by saying,“it’s not a fucking HD remake,”
In an interview with Eurogamer, Lanning revealed that he made a prototype of Stranger Arena after finishing Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. He said it was a mixture of third-person platform elements with first-person shooting.
Lanning said, “We had it running, Stranger Arena. You were using Stranger mechanics, but you were going head to head with other Strangers. You were doing multiplayer platforming and first-person shooting. So the dynamics of Stranger’s [Wrath] in arenas, head to head. I have to say, we were really excited about this.”
Lanning also talked about how Stranger Arena handled, “What I wanted to do was do what they do in RTS games,”. Lanning wanted to bring something new to the arena shooter genre.
Lanning continued by saying, “I was looking for more strategy in how I want to play the character, Like if I’m dealing with people who are obviously tougher than me, then I want to be more clever. I don’t want to be losing just because they’re faster on the draw,”
“You’re not going to beat them by being clever. You’re going to beat them by playing as many hours as they do,”. Lanning wanted his game to be a blend of two genres of gaming. He wanted his game to be fast-paced, action packed like an FPS game and at the same time be more strategic. A game where you don’t rely of skill alone, but also use your brain to get out of a sticky situation and go from a point where you at a disadvantage to a point where you have the upper hand.
Lanning blames EA for the downfall of the Oddworld series as well as the sales of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath which were around the million unit mark. He reveals, “Coming out of 2005 our hope was to go from Stranger’s [Wrath] to Stranger 2.0, to Stranger 2.5: Stranger Arena,”
He ended the interview by saying, We went to them [EA] with a product to distribute and then they didn’t market it. We had no success, I think we sold about a million units, but it was small relative to the quality of the title. That basically soured our taste forever with traditional publishing models.”
In my opinion, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath was an amazing game and wasn’t like any other game in it’s time. Some would say it was ahead of it’s time and I honestly feel bad for the developers of the game. The game could’ve been a huge success, but fell short because of no marketing. With the new Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty coming out, we might see the Stranger Arena game soon too.